Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has spent countless hours preparing for Cain Velasquez.

The two will meet for a third time Saturday at UFC 166, with the title on the line again – this time, though “Cigano” is the challenger, like the first meeting.

For the Brazilian, competing against an athlete such as Velasquez is an “honor.”

“He competes at such a high level,” said dos Santos, during a recent press conference. “Cain Velasquez is the champion right now and the guy I have to beat in this division.

“I respect (him) at lot and that is why I’m training so hard.”

Dos Santos scored a knockout victory in the first meeting, but was battered for five rounds in the rematch.

“I have to give my best all the time in training,” he said, “especially in the case of fighting Cain Velasquez because I know how hard he fights and pushes the fight.

“I have to do a very good job at the gym to (win the belt).”